shot (n.)

Old English scot, sceot "a shot, a shooting, an act of shooting; that which is discharged in shooting, what is shot forth; darting, rapid motion," from Proto-Germanic *skutan (source also of Old Norse skutr, Old Frisian skete, Middle Dutch scote, German Schuß "a shot"), related to sceotan "to shoot," from PIE root *skeud- "to shoot, chase, throw."

Meaning "discharge of a bow, missile," also is from related Old English gesceot. Extended to other projectiles in Middle English, and to sports (hockey, basketball, etc.) 1868. Another original meaning, "payment" (perhaps literally "money thrown down") is preserved in scot-free. "Throwing down" might also have led to the meaning "a drink," first attested 1670s, the more precise meaning "small drink of straight liquor" by 1928 (shot glass is by 1955). Camera view sense is from 1958.

Sense of "hypodermic injection" first attested 1904; figurative phrase shot in the arm "stimulant" is by 1922. Meaning "try, attempt" is from 1756; sense of "remark meant to wound" is recorded from 1841. Meaning "an expert in shooting" is from 1780. To call the shots "control events, make decisions" is American English, 1922, perhaps from sport shooting. Shot in the dark "uninformed guess" is from 1885. Big shot "important person" is from 1861.

By the rude bridge that arched the flood,

   Their flag to April’s breeze unfurled,

Here once the embattled farmers stood

   And fired the shot heard round the world.

[Emerson, from "Concord Hymn"]  

shot (adj.)

early 15c., past-participle adjective from shoot (v.). Meaning "wounded or killed by a bullet or other projectile" is from 1837. Figurative sense "ruined, worn out" is from 1833.

updated on February 15, 2019

Definitions of shot from WordNet
shot (n.)
the act of putting a liquid into the body by means of a syringe;
the nurse gave him a flu shot
Synonyms: injection
shot (n.)
the act of firing a projectile;
Synonyms: shooting
shot (n.)
a solid missile discharged from a firearm;
the shot buzzed past his ear
Synonyms: pellet
shot (n.)
(sports) the act of swinging or striking at a ball with a club or racket or bat or cue or hand;
he left me an almost impossible shot
a good shot requires good balance and tempo
Synonyms: stroke
shot (n.)
a chance to do something;
he wanted a shot at the champion
Synonyms: crack
shot (n.)
a person who shoots (usually with respect to their ability to shoot);
he is a crack shot
Synonyms: shooter
shot (n.)
a consecutive series of pictures that constitutes a unit of action in a film;
Synonyms: scene
shot (n.)
a small drink of liquor;
he poured a shot of whiskey
Synonyms: nip
shot (n.)
an aggressive remark directed at a person like a missile and intended to have a telling effect;
his parting shot was `drop dead'
Synonyms: shaft / slam / dig / barb / jibe / gibe
shot (n.)
an estimate based on little or no information;
Synonyms: guess / guesswork / guessing / dead reckoning
shot (n.)
an informal photograph; usually made with a small hand-held camera;
he tried to get unposed shots of his friends
Synonyms: snapshot / snap
shot (n.)
sports equipment consisting of a heavy metal ball used in the shot put;
he trained at putting the shot
shot (n.)
an explosive charge used in blasting;
shot (n.)
a blow hard enough to cause injury;
I caught him with a solid shot to the chin
he is still recovering from a shot to his leg
shot (n.)
an attempt to score in a game;
shot (n.)
informal words for any attempt or effort;
he gave it his best shot
Synonyms: stab
shot (n.)
the launching of a missile or spacecraft to a specified destination;
Synonyms: blastoff
shot (adj.)
varying in color when seen in different lights or from different angles;
chatoyant (or shot) silk
From, not affiliated with etymonline.